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Even amid the chaos and catastrophes caused by war, there are internationally recognized limits on combatants' behavior.Indeed, such behavior – which also includes obstruction of humanitarian aid and attacks on medical and humanitarian personnel – has become all too common.Today, the U.N. estimates some 125 million people are in need of humanitarian aid – a number that rises yearly.The meetings and talks taking place in Istanbul on May 23-24 will address the five core items comprising the Agenda for Humanity: preventing and ending conflicts; defending humanitarian norms; reducing displacement, protecting women and girls and providing education in conflict zones; reinforcing national and local capacities to provide aid; and increasing investment in human development.To prevent humanitarian disasters resulting from war, the priority is to respect the norms aimed at safeguarding civilians.On May 3, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution calling for the protection of civilians in conflicts and strongly condemning recent violations of international humanitarian law.The measure of human progress is whether such behavior is regarded – by anyone – as normal or inevitable.
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